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Mycol Res. 2008 Dec;112(Pt 12):1414-20. doi: 10.1016/j.mycres.2008.07.001. Epub 2008 Jul 11.

Characterization of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis COX9, COX12, and COX16 respiratory genes.

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  • 1Programa de Microbiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 1374, 05508-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is a thermo-dimorphic fungus that is the causative agent of paracoccidioidomyicosis (PCM), a human systemic granulomatous mycosis found in Latin America. Dimorphic transition from mycelium to yeast is required for establishing pathogenicity. Dimorphism is marked by changes in mitochondrial physiology, including modulation of respiration rate. In this work, we present the identification of three P. brasiliensis nuclear genes PbCOX9, PbCOX12, and PbCOX16 that code for structural subunits and a putative assembly facilitator (PbCOX16) of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COX), the terminal enzyme complex of the respiratory chain. We measured their expression pattern during the dimorphic transition from mycelium to yeast and back by real-time reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-qPCR). Our results show that messages from these genes increase during the mycelium to yeast transition and decrease during the opposite conversion. This result supports active mitochondrial participation in the transition. Heterologous complementation of the corresponding Saccharomyces cerevisiae null mutant with the PbCOX9 gene was successfully obtained.

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